Breakup Season: The Turkey Drop

Thanksgiving is upon us, and winter is right around the corner. 

Just as this time of year promises hopeful singles a chance at warm, snuggly winter love (also known as cuffing season), it’s also a time that existing young couples might experience the dreaded pre-holiday breakup tradition known as the “turkey drop”.

What exactly is the turkey drop, and why is it so common? 

The term “turkey drop” originates from the phenomenon of college students in (usually long-distance) relationships breaking up with their partners after coming home for Thanksgiving break. 

But this isn’t just isolated to college students! The turkey drop phenomenon has broadened to include most young, unmarried couples, and has been substantiated by “peak break-up” data pulled from Facebook in 2008 by David McCandless and Lee Byron, which shows a definite spike in breakups in late-November to mid-December… Conveniently, just before the winter holidays.

There are plenty of practical (and emotional!) reasons someone might choose the pre-holiday season to break up with their partner. It can save you money you otherwise would have spent on gifts, time you otherwise would have wasted in an unhappy relationship, and anxiety you otherwise would have felt in anticipation of meeting your partner’s family for the first time.

It’s important to remember that the turkey drop isn’t inevitable for every couple– only those with serious pre-existing issues are susceptible. If both of you aren’t feeling the relationship anymore, the turkey drop can be a blessing in disguise. But if you’ve been worried about your relationship’s future lately, and you’d like to save it in time for the coming holidays, you’d better start working on it now before the turkeys start dropping.